Jerusalem — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday has conferred an Indian national Sheikh Mohammed Munir Ansari with the Star of Jerusalem medal, which is given as the highest honors given to foreign nationals by the Palestinian Authorities.
Mr. Abbas thanked him for serving Palestine and Jerusalem, the third holiest city for Muslims, with distinction.
“The Ansari family’s presence in the old city of Jerusalem reflects the strong traditional ties between Indian and Palestinian people,” Mr. Abbas said.
Sunil Kumar, a representative from India, who was present the event, appreciated the role played by the Ansari family in strengthening Indo-Palestine ties.
Sheikh Munir Ansari is the Director of Indian Hospice, a unique and historic monument in the heart of the Holy city, which has become a symbol of India’s heritage and presence in the old city of Jerusalem going back to over 800 years.
The Indian hospice has been under the direct supervision of a representative from India since 1924. Sheikh Munir Ansari’s father, Sheikh Nazir Hassan Ansari, was appointed the first Sheikh of the Hospice from whom the mantle passed on to the incumbent who was born in Jerusalem in 1928 and has spent his whole life here.
Indian Government in 2011, honored Sheikh Munir Ansari with the Pravasi Divas Samman, the highest honor conferred on overseas Indians.
Mr. Abbas is planning to send Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh to India soon to boost tourism which can contribute to strong bonding between the two people.